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5 Ways to Cash in On 3D printing

Are you a novice in 3D printing, admonished by your parents or mocked by your friends for splashing money on such an expensive “useless” machine?

Are you a seasoned player in 3D printing, wondering what you can do with all your 3D designs, models and 3D printer, aside from keeping them as a hobby ?   

If either of the above scenarios apply to you, you are not alone. Alex, China born and bred, now 27, working and living in Europe, first got into 3D printing when attending university in France. He says one summer afternoon in his sophomore year he ,together with his other three classmates was invited to a small gathering at a local student’s house. At some point his friend showed the guests his 3D printer and started to print a Japanese cartoon character on it. Alex was amazed at how capable this little(well, not exactly little, but Alex thinks so ) machine is.

A few days later, Alex decided to get one himself. So he went online in search of the same 3D printer model his friend was using. As it turns out, the same machine being sold online is priced at $399,not a small expenditure given that he was a student studying overseas and his middle-class family background. He somehow summoned up the courage to ask his parents to buy if for him. According to Alex, his parents were mad at him at first. They wouldn’t get it why he would want to buy such a “useless” but expensive thing. And they were worried that their only son would abandon his study as a result of “playing too much with the machine”.

Long story short, in the end, Alex was able to convince his Dad to buy the printer for him by promising to focus on his study and to return home with a degree,which he did. Fast forward to 1.5 years ago, Alex purchased his first geeetech 3D printer–A20M, and has become a fan of geeetech ever since.

To date, a great number of people still have not heard of desktop 3D printers,just like Alex and his parents years ago, and 3D printing is more of a industrial concept than an everyday conversation topic.

It is projected that 3D printing will be the next big thing in the years to come,with 3D printers for home and office use being more affordable and capable.A similar pattern can be drawn in the developments of smart phones and 3D printers. Smart phones in the early days were expensive,not so “smart”, and known to few.However,a decade later almost everyone owns smart phone. So now is probably the best time to monetize your 3D printing skills and expertise before 3D printers become ubiquitous.

Here are 5 ways to make money with your 3D printer and 3D printing know-how.

Sell Your Design.

One of the best ways to make money using a 3D printers is not to have one. Isn’t it amazing? If you have 3D models/designs you think are great but do not own a 3D printer, put them up for sale.The world is in want of great designs. .

Sell Your Work

If you are a creative creature, why not turn your creativity into reality and sell your work online? Take photos or make videos of your works and make them known to others. Share them on your social media:Facebook, Ins. Twitter. Those impressed with your work may be willing to pay for it. Photos/videos of your printed objects are promotional materials to get customers.

Prototyping

Another way to make money off 3D printing is to sell 3D printed prototypes to local businesses and companies. One advantage of this business model is that you do not have to rack your brain trying to come up with great designs or models. Chances are your clients have a team dedicated to it. All you are left to do is get them printed. It of course would give you a leg-up if you have a good command of 3D modeling (CAD) software.  

Printing Services.

As pointed out above, not every one owns(some choose not to ) a 3D printer. 3D printing has been widely used in education, medical, robotics,architecture,jewellery and many other industries, this means there is always a market for printing services.  Let others know what your printer is capable of and your rates for such service,and you are all set.

Teaching 3D Printing.

As of today,3D printing is still not commonplace, but is getting more attention and interest from the public, and 3D printers are being introduced into classrooms, offices and homes due to their versatility,causing a gap between the demand for 3D printers and supply of experts, specialists, who understand 3D printing and know how to operate those machines, flying in the face of the fact that desktop 3D printers are becoming more and more user-friendly. All this makes teaching 3D printing technology a lucrative business.

That concludes the list of ways to make a living off 3D printing.

Any questions or ideas? Leave us a comment. We would love to hear from you.

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